Astronomers crack mystery of 'transformer' star
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/25/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Astronomers have discovered a star that seems to vary and vanish in a surprising fashion. They mystery may now have been solved.
The mysterious star switches between two states of energy output, baffling scientists -- until now.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientists observing a pulsar have been surprised to notice the star disappear and reappear in their observations. Stars do not appear or disappear suddenly, so they were intrigued by the discovery and examined the pulsar more closely.
A pulsar is actually the core of a dead star, called a neutron star, which spins very rapidly, emitting radio waves in beams as it spins. This particular pulsar spins about 43,000 times per minute. It also has a small companion star that is about 20 percent the size of the Sun.
The pulsar and small star orbit one another and this is key to understanding why the pulsar appears and disappears.
Scientists now think the pulsar is drawing gas from its companion which builds up and heats up, then essentially explodes in a burst of energy. This causes the waves emitted by the star to change from radio waves to X-rays. Since the star is studied in radio waves, every time it bursts, it disappears from the radio-sensitive instrument used to observe it. This creates the illusion, on paper, that the star is disappearing. Meanwhile, while it is invisible to radio waves, it lights up in X-rays.
This periodic transformation between these two states of energy output have not been studied before so that makes this binary system both new and rare. Scientists don't know when the next switch will occur, so they will continue watching it in the hopes they can observe it switching back and forth again.
Astronomers hope to learn more about how pulsars form and how they interact when they orbit larger companion stars.
The study announcing the discovery was published in The Astrophysical Journal.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2017
Parishes. That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.
September 23 is a worrisome date for millions of people who believe that a massive planet will affect the Earth as it passes by in space. ... continue reading
Scientists plan to send a signal into deep space to see if aliens are out there. However, experts warn we could endanger humanity by doing ... continue reading
Goodbye to Cassini, the space probe that was launched in 1997 and spent six years travelling, and over thirteen years exploring Saturn and ... continue reading
Is the end of Google near? Internet giant may soon become target of anti-trust laws around the world Watch
Google is getting too big for its own good, or so some experts are warning. Talk of anti-trust measures against the internet giant is ... continue reading
UFO Seekers use a telescope to capture images of the secret Area 51 base where people can be SHOT on sight Watch
Hikers and UFO enthusiasts have captured clear, new images of the secretive Area 51 base in Nevada using a telescope and camera. The photos ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Trump speech rocks NFL as more players protest during Anthem HD Video
- Elizabeth Warren - Another liberal hypocrite, scam artist exposed
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 HD Video
- Is Pope Francis a heretic? Formal letter of correction made public
- Church tricked into hosting satanic fashion show
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, September 26, 2017
- Sts. Cosmas & Damian: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, September 26, 2017
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, September 25th, 2017 HD
- Woman photographs angel in flight, is it here to deliver a message? HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, September 24th, 2017 HD